By Adekunle Adekoya
THE town of Misau, headquarters of Misau Local Government Area of Bauchi State first attracted national attention in the Second Republic. In 1983, then Makaman Misau, Alhaji Muhammadu Kura, was chosen as the running mate of Chief Obafemi Awolowo of the Unity Party of Nigeria, UPN, in the presidential election which held later that year.
Prior to his nomination, he was a gubernatorial candidate of the Great Nigeria Peoples Party, for Bauchi in the 1979 election.
That was some 38 years ago, quite a distance in the past. Now, in the informatics age when the internet rules the world and its ubiquity has impacted lives and businesses worldwide, Misau town is attracting global attention due to the fast-growing business empire founded by Alhaji Babangida Zango.
Alhaji Babangida Zango is a civil engineer, contractor, businessman and philanthropist par excellence. He was born on March 3, 1964 in Misau town, Misau LGA of Bauchi State. He had his education from Central Primary School Misau, Science Secondary School, Azare, and the Kaduna Polytechnic from 1977 to 1992.
For twenty years, from 1988 to 2008, Zango was in public service as an official of Bauchi State Ministry of Works and Transport. He voluntarily retired in 2008 to pursue his dual dreams of full time contracting and humanitarian activities. Upon retirement in 2008, Zango founded a building and civil engineering firm, Current MEC Engineering Ltd and still serves as its managing director and chief executive officer.
With this firm, he successfully led the execution of several high-quality building and engineering projects across Nigeria for various categories of clients. Many public and private building projects nationwide have been executed by Current MEC Engineering Ltd. The civil engineering and construction form has over 656 employees on its payroll.
People close to Zango say he often sets up businesses just to provide job opportunities for people. Thus, in 2016, Zango opted to invest in the hospitality sector, and thus the Chartwell Hotel & Suites came to life. It is a four-star hospitality services outlet in Bauchi, the state capital, and also in Misau, his home town. Chartwell Hotel & Suites provides employment opportunities to over 300 Nigerians from various backgrounds.
Alhaji Babangida Zango is also a humanitarian and philanthropist whose desire to uplift the less privileged knows no bounds. This has made him create businesses just to provide employment opportunities for Nigerians. He engages in humanitarian services to both individuals and communities.
Alhaji Babangida Zango has built many houses for the destitute and the downtrodden in addition to providing feeding and medical allowances for many families. In the communities where his companies operate, he has constructed drainages and access roads, in addition to drilling boreholes and funding other water projects to provide potable water for various communities as a charity.
He is also active in the education sector, has awarded hundreds of scholarships to many students. As a result, many student bodies have bestowed honours on him. His humanitarian activities have not gone unnoticed, however.
In 2012, the Misau Emirate Council honoured him with the prestigious title of Chikasoron Misau. Alhaji Babangida Zango, accomplished businessman and philanthropist, widely travelled and married with children, is Vanguard’s Industrialist of the Year 2020.